(The following was originally published on the Communist Party USA website.)
The Communist Party USA denounces the events that have transpired in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela over the past week. Some opponents of the progressive government of Nicolas Maduro, coming from privileged strata which do not accept the achievements of the Bolivarian government, went far beyond peaceful protest, which is guaranteed to them as a right by the Venezuelan constitution, and committed acts of violence in Caracas and other areas. At least four people have died, with disturbances continuing.
Instead of deploring the violence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has attacked the Venezuelan government and made demands that no sovereign nation can accept, including not arresting rioters and their instigators. This is part of a pattern that goes back to the Bush administration which, in 2002, was heavily implicated in an effort to overthrow the late President Hugo Chavez by means of a violent coup. Since then, there have been many heavy handed U.S. actions and statements, all of which Venezuela has repudiated with dignity. In fact, the U.S. government has yet to recognize the victory of President Maduro in the elections of last April. Every Latin American government recognizes Maduro as president, and most of them have issued strongly worded statements deploring the current violence.
By its attitude, the U.S. government aligns itself with some very right wing people in Venezuela, in neighboring countries (such as former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe), and in the United States (such as figures from the Reagan and Bush administrations including Otto Reich, whom Maduro accuses of funding the right wing protests).
The corporate controlled mass media in the United States are complicit in this situation. Even supposedly “liberal” newspapers like the Washington Post have been on an unrelenting campaign to vilify the entire group of left-wing and left-leaning governments in Latin America, including that of Venezuela.
The United States government needs to recognize that the era of supine governments in Latin America which accepted the dictates of Washington and Wall Street is a thing of the past. With left wing or left-center governments in power, it has been possible to sharply reduce poverty and greatly improve health care and education all over the region. The Venezuelan government’s enlightened trade and aid policies have been a major factor in making this possible. These things never happened when the United States dominated the area. In spite of lies in the press and media, more and more people in the U.S.A. are coming to recognize this.
The Communist Party USA expresses its full support for the achievements of the Bolivarian government of Venezuela and pledges itself to work to put a stop to U.S. destabilizing efforts in that country and others.
Specifically, we call on the Obama administration to:
- Recognize the right of the Venezuelan people to democratically choose their own leaders and form of government. This entails, among other things, formally recognizing Nicolas Maduro as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
- Cease to use U.S. taxpayers’ money to fund destabilizing activities of the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic institute, the C.I.A., the N.S.A. and other entities that undermine the security of the Venezuelan state and its neighbors.
- Make a clear break with right wing leaders in the United States and beyond who are working to reverse the democratic decisions of the Venezuelan people, including former Bush administration figures like Otto Reich, former President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, and Venezuelan politicians like Leopoldo Lopez.
Finally, Secretary of State Kerry had previously stated that the Monroe Doctrine is a thing of the past.
Let it be so in fact: In actions as well as words.